Local entrepreneur Tristan Galbraith is not shying away from past offences in his bid for a seat in the provincial legislature.
The 35-year-old owner of Whistler pest-control company Critter Get Ritter was sentenced to 18 months of probation last month after being convicted of assault, willfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer, and three counts of breach of court conditions.
A separate charge last July of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose — a knife — also netted him a conviction and 12 months of probation.
"People can look into that, and if they have any questions, contact me directly. I don't think there's anything wrong with people being upfront about what's happened in their lives," said Galbraith, who is registered as an independent in the May 9 provincial election.
"It hasn't affected my life negatively at all. I think if anything it's a wakeup call."
The provincial Election Act does contain provisions that disqualify individuals from being nominated as a candidate or holding office as an MLA if convicted of certain offences under the Act (such as vote-buying, for example), but there are no provisions that would disqualify Galbraith for his crimes, said an Elections BC spokesperson.
"At least I'm upfront about it. A lot of other politicians would prefer not to comment or it's behind closed doors," Galbraith said. "I think all we need to do for that right now — and lots of people ask me about it — is just look what's happening with their electoral spending platforms right now... that whole drama is affecting us in a negative way, because it's portraying a negative image on politics, and we're already seeing these lower voter turnouts and young people not interested."
And speaking for younger voters is a big part of Galbraith's platform.
"Our hierarchy of needs isn't being met, and we need to have more opportunity for anyone under 40 who wants to have a business, who wants to own land, and who wants to build, because it's not happening and the prices keep going up," he said.
Galbraith — who currently lives in Pemberton — ran for Resort Municipality of Whistler council in 2014, receiving 162 votes.
Galbraith would also like to focus on green technology, he said.
"My campaign has been really stringent on the environment... creating some of these green incentives, and especially areas that we can help not just Crown or public corporations, which we have huge ones in B.C., and implementing things like hybrid cars and e-bikes," he said. "I think I'd like to see a Duffey Lake ranger station at the top of the park... maybe we start utilizing a better transportation or transit structure around Joffre (Lakes)... We all know that Joffre is getting a lot busier and I don't think we're doing enough."
For more on Galbraith's platform and positions, head to www.tristangalbraith.com.